Let Them Eat...Better! (A Series & a Challenge)

Alright, faithful readers, we've completed 2 challenges so far - hopefully, we've cut out processed foods from most of our diet and replaced it with fresh fruits and vegetables. How have you done so far? I'll admit, I'm still falling victim to the convenience of packaged foods from time to time, but we all will. They're fast and easy, and quite honestly, sometimes it feels good to be bad! :) And the farmers' markets have helped me incorporate LOTS of fresh fruits and veggies!

Now, let's talk about the third challenge...

While we continue to cut out junk and add in the good stuff, let's talk about another replacement for some of the packaged junk...homemade food. For this challenge, let's make something from scratch that we would normally buy packaged. Now, I know it sounds daunting, but like everything else we've done, let's start small.

Are you like me? Does one or more of the following apply to you?

  • Are you addicted to those expensive coffee shop drinks?
  • Do you like the convenience of grabbing a package of muffins at the store?
  • What about bread?
I could go on, but I think you get the point. All of these things can be made at home...easily! Oh, and did I mention the homemade version will probably taste better, cost less, and be healthier because it contains NO chemicals? So what have you got to lose?! This is the time to toss out your fear of cooking...so let's talk about simple, easy things you can make at home.

Coffee Shop Drink:
I'll admit, I'm addicted to mocha lattes...and I mean, seriously addicted! At a cost of $5 per tasty, caffeine-laden, chocolatey treat, this little habit can add up quickly! And I have no idea what kind of extra crap (chemicals) I'm consuming. So...here's an easy solution. Do you have a coffeemaker? Or how about skipping a few of the high-priced beverages and saving the money to put toward a home espresso machine (don't fear...it's only $30!)?

Regardless of the machine you've got or buy, brew yourself about 4 ounces of double-brewed coffee or espresso. Add in 1-2 ounces of homemade chocolate syrup, and 1 cup of hot milk (for an iced drink, use cold milk and pour over ice). If you like the blended drinks, throw the whole concoction in the blender. Easy peasy! :)

Let's face it, muffins are good. Muffin top...well, not so much. :) Did you know most store-bought muffins are at least two servings? A regular serving size for a muffin is about the size of a tennis ball. If you don't know how big a tennis ball is, go to the store and look at one. Then compare it to your favorite muffin. How do they compare? And how many ingredients are in the list on the muffin package? How many of them can you pronounce? How about a muffin with 10 ingredients you can pronounce that only takes about 10 minutes to mix up? Here's a muffin recipe you can use for any fruit you've got on hand (or try it as written with zucchini since it's in season). Just bake them up and freeze them in a freezer bag. Each morning, pop one in the microwave for 10-20 seconds, and you've got breakfast!

I *LOVE* bread. :) LOVE IT! One of my favorites is focaccia bread. It's a soft, flat bread, and it's great for sandwiches, garlic bread, or just plain. Think of it as a thick pizza dough (you can actually use it for pizza dough). In a few minutes, you can have the dough mixed, let it sit for a few hours, and bake it. Bread doesn't get any easier than this...no kneading!

So there you have it. Easy as pie, right? 

What do you plan on making from scratch for this challenge? Share your ideas in the comments, or feel free to ask for additional recipes or ideas. But most of all, enjoy the fruits of your labor! You're doing your body a world of good with these challenges, and I hope you'll continue on the journey with me!

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